Developer Lamm loses 2 challenges

Posted By on April 1, 2014

Published: 2:00 AM - 04/01/14

MONTICELLO Developer Shalom Lamm lost two courtroom skirmishes Monday in the electoral battle for Bloomingburg that centers around his 396-home Hasidic development.

First, Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan Schick denied a request by Lamm's lawyers to recuse himself because they say Schick's wife made pre-election social media postings that disparaged Lamm, his project and the Hasidic community. The posts allegedly referred to Hasidim as "greedy people" who must be stopped and should be in "orange jumpsuits," Lamm's lawyer John Ciampoli told Schick.

Before denying the motion, Schick said he "had no knowledge" of the postings until Lamm's lawyers showed them to him. He also said "it hasn't affected me one way or another."

Schick this week plans to settle the challenges to 121 voters in the March election that has project opponent Frank Gerardi leading Mayor Mark Berentsen, a Lamm supporter, by an 81-25 margin.

In the courtroom crowded with project opponents, Schick denied a motion by Lamm's lawyers to dismiss the case. They said the challenges to registered voters should have been settled before the election. The Sullivan County Board of Elections last week ruled on the challenges with the vast majority of the challenges made by project opponents upheld and those made by project supporters thrown out. Lamm was one of the voters whose residency and vote was challenged - and upheld by the Board.

Schick will have a hearing on the rulings of the Board Wednesday.

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Developer Lamm loses 2 challenges

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